For easy and convenient installment, many homeowners are interested in Propress instead of classic soldering for their heater fittings. However, the longevity of Propress is still a point of the doubt for them.
So, how long do Propress fittings last?
The Propress fittings should last around 50 years as per the guarantee of Virgo and other renowned companies. The reason behind this durability is its materials, copper, bronze, PBT, and EPDM. These all are very durable materials with high temperature and pressure resistance. However, due to improper installment and incompatible pipe, the longevity of Propress fitting can be reduced.
To know more about these in detail, keep reading.
How Long Do Propress Fittings Last?
Most renowned brands offer a warranty of 50 years on Propress fittings. For example, Viega Propress fittings, Nibco Propress fittings, and Apollo Propress fittings. However, depending on the brand, Propress fittings life expectancy is between 25 to 50 years.
There are various factors that are present behind this durability. Those factors are given below.
Factor 1: The Body Is Made Of Copper And Bronze
Copper and bronze are durable materials that can last thousands of years. These materials last even in harsh environments. Copper pipes and fittings are commonly used in plumbing systems, as they are resistant to corrosion and can last for many years without requiring replacement.
The main body of Propress fittings is made of bronze and copper which makes it durable enough to last around 50 years.
Some people use brass fitting on their iron pipe which can cause corrosion on the fitting and pipe. In this case, Propress fitting is a good choice.
Factor 2: Separator Rings Are Made With PBT Material
The separator ring used in the Propress fittings is made with PBT or (Polybutylene Terephthalate). This material has a high melting point and can withstand temperatures of up to 150°C without degrading.
Additionally, PBT has excellent chemical resistance. It can withstand exposure to harsh chemicals without degrading or corroding. It also lasts for a long time surviving under thermal stress, extreme heat, and harsh chemicals.
Factor 3: Sealant Elements Are Made Of EPDM
The sealant elements used in high-quality Propress fittings are made with EPDM rubber.
EPDM rubber is known for its durability under excessive temperature fluctuation. It can withstand temperatures from -50°C to 150°C without losing its flexibility. So, it is an ideal material for use in sealing applications where temperature fluctuations are expected, such as heaters.
This material has a high tear strength, which means that it can withstand high stresses and forces without breaking or tearing. So, during installation and use, the sealant won’t easily tear under tension and pressure. EPDM rubber is also highly resistant to UV radiation and harsh chemicals.
So, if you are thinking, are ProPress fittings permanent? they’re not. But they are pretty durable and reliable.
What Causes Early Damage To Propress Fittings?
Although made with durable material and has an official guarantee of a long time, these fittings can still get damaged due to some factors. Here are some of them discussed below.
Shallow Pipe Installment:
When pipes are not fully inserted into the ProPress fittings, it can lead to damage and premature failure of the fittings. Over time, a small amount of slack keeps developing in fittings.
This can lead to the fittings becoming loose and separating from the pipe, which causes leaks in the joints, and eventually, the ProPress fittings get lost and separated from the pipe.
Moreover, if the fittings are exposed to excessive pressure or stresses, they will fail even more quickly if not installed properly.
Parallel pimping with the Propress fittings is possible., however, parallel piping installment can be complicated so provide extra care.
Improper Pipe Size:
Using improper pipe size will lead to early damage to the propress fittings. If the pipe size is too small, it can cause an increase in pressure within the system, which can lead to damage to the propress fittings and pipes.
Also, using a smaller pipe size than recommended will keep slack in the fitting which will eventually lead the fitting to separate from the pipe very quickly. If the pipe used in ProPress fittings is too big, it can cause gaps between the pipe and the fitting. It will also result in leaks in the joint and early damage to the fittings.
Hitting The Pipe Frequently:
If Prepress fittings are in an exposed area and the children or pets frequently touch or hit them they can get damaged early.
Hitting or touching the pipe frequently can cause damage to ProPress fittings in a number of ways. One potential consequence of this damage is that the fitting may become loose over time.
When the pipe is hit or bumped, it can cause the fitting to move slightly out of place, creating gaps. This can lead to leaks and air exposure to the inside of the fitting and cause the fittings to rust.
Also when the fittings are hit, it can cause scratches or other damage to the ProPress fitting. If these scratches are deep enough, they can penetrate the protective coating on the fitting. As a result, the inside metal part will get exposed to air and moisture. This can cause rust to form on the surface of the fitting over time.
Once rust starts to form, it can spread quickly and weaken the structure of the Propress fitting. These reasons are primarily responsible for ProPress fitting failures.
How Can You Make Propress Fittings Last Longer?
ProPress fittings are long-lasting if you are careful about some factors. Follow the tips mentioned below and make your ProPress fittings last longer.
- Make sure to install the fittings with a professional or skilled technician only. Ensure that pipes are installed fully and securely into ProPress fittings to ensure that the fittings function properly over their service life.
- There are recommended minimum distances between two ProPress connectors for the efficient use of the fittings. Maintain the recommended distance given in the ProPress owner’s manual.
- Choose the right ProPress fitting joints for your specific application. ProPress fittings are available in a range of materials and sizes. Consult the experts and choose the right one for your HVAC system.
- Make sure to use the right size of pipe in the ProPress fittings. When selecting the pipe size for ProPress fittings, always consider the intended use of the plumbing system, pressure, and other factors that may impact the performance.
- Try to install the fittings in an area that is not too much exposed to your children and pets. This is because ProPress fittings rely on a pressing tool to create a secure, leak-proof connection between pipes, which can be dangerous if mishandled.
These tips will help the ProPress fittings of your heater last longer. Now, coming to another concern, many people prefer soldering over fittings, but which one is better? Let’s find out the answers.
Is Propress Better Than Solder?
Yes, ProPress is better than soldering in so many aspects. Installment of Propress is easier than soldering as it doesn’t require any open flame, unlike soldering.
Propress is a type of press fitting system that joins copper pipes without the need for soldering. On the other hand, soldering involves heating a metal alloy to create a joint between two copper pipes. So, it requires more skills than Propress.
Additionally, in ProPress fittings, you don’t have to dry the system before installment, unlike soldering. It will give you less hassle. Furthermore, soldering has another benefit over ProPress fitting. ProPress has a life expectancy of around 50 years, whereas soldering lasts practically for a lifetime of the pipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is Propress Better Than Sharkbite?
Yes, Propress is better than the Sharkbite fittings. Most ProPress fittings last around 50 years while the Sharkbite only lasts for around 25 years due to the plastic materials on it. Also, the O-ring used in Sharkbite is less durable than the ProPress sealants. Sharkbite is also pricier than ProPress fittings.
How Long Has Propress Been Around?
The ProPress fittings have been around for 34 years now. Virgo introduced this fitting system first back in 1989. After that, it soon gained popularity. Now some other companies make these ProPress fittings.
Is Propress Rated For Steam?
Yes, ProPress is rated for steam however, only low pressure once. The materials used in ProPress can withhold steam. The approved pressure for ProPress is maximum of 15 psig and the temperature should be a maximum of 248 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, here goes my take on how long do ProPress fittings last. Hopefully, it was helpful for you. ProPress fittings are a good investment for your heater. If you install and maintain it properly, it will last for a long time.
That’s all for today. Hope you have a great day!